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Metro Bank nears approval

Metro Bank, the start-up high street lender backed by US entrepreneur Vernon Hill, is set to be granted a banking licence by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) within days, City A.M. understands.

The City regulator is currently at the last stage of the approval process, where the licence is granted subject to final proof of funding.

Metro Bank, which hopes to open four branches in the UK this year in Holborn, Earls Court, Borehamwood and Fulham Broadway, has been awaiting the go-ahead from the FSA for months. Eight more branches are already in the pipeline for next year.

The bank aims to mark itself out from competitors with supreme levels of customer service, including opening until late at night and at the weekend and utilising little touches such as allowing clients to bring their dogs into branches.